#ICYMI: seabirds are coming to Georgia Aquarium! The new exhibit will feature four different species of seabirds from the North Pacific: horned puffins, tufted puffins, common murres, and pigeon guillemots. The habitat has been under construction since July, and the design is closely based on the natural habitats of these cliff-dwelling species. But what does it take to create a new exhibit?
Learn more about our newest addition from Michael Lewis, project director at Georgia Aquarium:
- What progress has been made on the exhibit so far?
Quite a bit! All of the rockwork is almost complete and all of the Life Support Systems are complete. Special lights have been installed that help to replicate the seasons that these North Pacific birds are used to. Utilizing a special air system, this will become one of the coldest exhibits in the aquarium upon its completion!
- What goes into the process of designing a new exhibit?
Plenty of research and planning! We come up with drawings and renderings first. Then, we use these to create clay models to design the way we want the actual habitat that the animals will live in to look. All of these allows us to work through all the details before we even begin construction. And of course, before any exhibit opens there is a lot of testing and cleaning. All of the water systems, filters, rocks, everything that affects the birds are tested repeatedly. We want to make sure the environment will be safe, clean, and stimulating for the birds.
- What do you think guests will be most excited about with the new exhibit?
The birds! Each species is unique and very charismatic. There will be a lot of activity and it will be great to watch these animals play in and around the water. The exhibit boasts some unique viewpoints that will give guests an even better look at all four species of seabirds.
- How big is the exhibit?
The exhibit contains more than 16,000 gallons of water and will have intricate rockwork for these birds. In addition to viewing windows that show above and below the water’s surface.
The seabird exhibit is slated to open in January of 2018 in Georgia Aquarium’s Cold Water Quest gallery. To stay up-to-date on the opening and all of the seabirds, stay tuned to Georgia Aquarium’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.